Yes these guys cannot scratch their nose either. And yes there is no need. They have no nose. But the cleaning is free and included in the service that the little fish perform. And I happened to click at the perfect moment. Doesn’t it look easy taking this image? If you only knew…
This is the male version of the fairy basselet. I know this from reading the book. Otherwise they would all be the same to me. The fish is tiny. So it is no surprise that my noisy bubbles and my size make them swim for the coral as soon as I come along.
Rarely, then, do they hang around. But… once in a while and it was this day that they were brave and almost challenging. Perhaps it is mating time. I drifted up close and shot away. Dumb fish, I could have eaten them all… in a single gulp. So much for male stupidity when there are girls around.
Oh, the girls are golden seen above. They vastly outnumber the males on the reef. So maybe my theory has merit.
These are very small and skittish fish. So it was a rare event that they would pose. And even more rare is for me to catch one with it’s mouth open. Yes, yes they do this all the time. I can tell you that it is not common to get it on film. With all the amazing photography around these days we take unusual images for granted. All I say is that what is not common remains so.
In the Red Sea there is free cleaning service too. These fish are brave or the bigger fish tolerate them as a necessary service. After all how do you scratch your nose? Don’t be wise and say fish don’t have noses. I knew that. But if you want your windows cleaned or your skin scratched it doesn’t help to eat the help does it? Carry on… And after all the recent land pics, did you think I was done with the Red Sea?
On the weekend there is a large crowd around the equipment. I am happy to see kids being kids. They even get to run bare foot. As you can notice concrete is just as nice a spot to land as grass.
It seems that anything fun always attracts a crowd. Don’t fall and no one will step upon you.
Small and skittish fish are hard to photograph. Breathing underwater is surprisingly loud noisy. I learned this listening to the sound track of the movies from my camera. And I am a big thing in a black dive suit. Indeed this must be intimidating to a small fish. The spot on the dorsal fin is to distract and mislead the eye into thinking the fish is headed in a different direction or larger than it is. Sometimes you sneak up and get the shot. Or else we would not be looking at this image. It helps to not blow bubbles as you sneak.
A pair! It is so unusual to see one. Here’s a pair. They look like feather dusters. And they close up as soon as you threaten them. Pink ones are quite rare to see. The unusual is usual. At least you take this image and say to yourself it’s nice. I say it is something you rarely see and appreciate that this is a special moment.
Get in close. My early pictures were less so. I got brave. So far I have not been injured. Rule: don’t touch anything. Corollary: Don’t let anything touch you. Stonefish are supposed to be poisonous and dangerous. Myth or truth? Don’t touch anything. So familiarity breeds…. and I am braver and getting closer all the time. I’m not seeing any teeth and the fish is quite docile. It just sits there and stares at me staring at it. So far so good.
I got this image under a coral ledge. I used the flash to my advantage. It reminds me of two fish conferring. I am sure that this is not the case. Fish can’t talk right?
Here’s something that I can only point out. We were able to see this behavior several times in a couple dives. This fish is carrying eggs in its mouth. I have heard male fish do this sometimes. Male or female you decide here. But it kept its mouth open and looked like it had marbles bulging its lower jaw. I was surprised too that the fish kept to its spot and did not give ground as I swam closer to get a picture.